PHILADELPHIA -- These are the kinds of days and plays that make all the Dez Bryant drama worth it.
There were no glaring mistakes to overshadow Bryant’s production after he caught three passes for a team-high 87 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Eagles. For a change, the focus could be solely on Bryant’s phenomenal display of athleticism.
“The kinds of things that we’ve seen him not make is what you’ve got to have from him to have the rest,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said.
Translation: If Bryant’s going to be an occasional pain the butt, he better be a big-time playmaker.
“Now, make no mistake about it, Dez is improving in several other areas,” Jones said. “I’m talking about fundamental things on the football field. He is more ready to help us win a ballgame. He’s always been able to make a play and that’s really why we work as hard as we do to get him with us and get him out on the field and playing.”
Bryant’s 30-yard touchdown that tied the score late in the third was truly a spectacular catch. He made the diving catch in the end zone despite pass interference from cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who appeared to deflect the ball before it got to Bryant.
“I’ve got to hold up my end,” Bryant said. “Whenever that ball’s in the air, I’ve got to come down with it.”
The ball moved slightly when Bryant hit the ground, but officials didn’t overturn the play after a review. The Cowboys would have had the ball at the 1-yard line anyway due to the pass interference, but it would have been Bryant’s second phenomenal catch that didn’t count, following his woulda-been game-winner against the Giants when his fingertips landed out of bounds.
“I didn’t think about it,” Bryant said. “Now that you brought it up, it’s kind of crazy.”
But Bryant said he never doubted that he had control of the ball. He believed it was a touchdown from the moment he got his hands on it.
Actually, Bryant thought it was a touchdown as soon as Tony Romo threw the ball his way, even when Rodgers-Cromartie was grabbing him.
“I just had to get loose and do the best that I can to make a play on the ball,” Bryant said.
After too many near-misses, Bryant came through for the Cowboys at a critical moment.